When the founder created Krav Maga, his concept was that this Martial Art must be able to be utilized by everyone regardless of size, strength, age or fitness level. Imi added to the military tactics he'd created in order to teach Krav Maga to civilians. Lacking weapons such as machine guns, and unable to call for re-enforcements or depend on fellow soldiers, civilians require different techniques from those taught in the military. There is no one to rely on other than oneself if attacked. Proper training in the art Imi created requires proper instruction; relying exclusively on a military background for the teaching of Krav Maga is unacceptable.
Krav Maga Founder
In the 1970's Imi introduced the belted system to the style (White thru levels of Black belt) in order to allow students to progress in learning the techniques that move from basic to complex. Testing students to higher ranks is necessary in order to determine their knowledge of and ability in the material that they have studied. Training requires both physical and mental concentration. Because advanced material and sparring become more and more intense and aggressive, students are properly prepared only through committed training.
Not using strength against strength is one of the most important aspects of Krav Maga, due to the understanding that an attacker will most likely be larger and stronger than the defender. Krav Maga techniques teach strikes to vulnerable targets. A vulnerable target is any place on the body that can not be strengthened but is easily damaged i.e. throat, eyes and groin. This aspect of Krav Maga ensures that smaller individuals are capable of effectively defending themselves in an attack.
Rhon Mizrachi 1978
Other than avoidance, the only way to stop an attack is with the use of force. The ability of a practitioner to go from being passive to becoming the aggressor as quickly as possible is what will determine the outcome of a confrontation. Therefore, defense without immediate and explosive offense does not exist in Krav Maga.
Krav Maga training reflects its military background, part of which means preparing for worst case attack scenarios. Attackers using weapons and or multiple attackers fall into this category. From the beginning of training, students train with the understanding that while the initial defense is against the immediate threat, you are not necessarily involved in a one-on-one fight. Learning how to defend against attackers using weapons is a crucial part of Krav Maga and must be taught to students who have a strong understanding of Krav Maga fundamentals. Because of its military beginnings, Krav Maga has always focused on weapon defenses and disarming. It has become the most well respected weapons defense system worldwide. In addition to the civilian applications, the law enforcement and military communities are taught techniques specific to their needs.
Krav Maga training builds both confidence and character. Through hard work and dedication students learn to defend themselves and others. Armed with this knowledge and ability, students feel a new sense of confidence. In their daily lives, students begin to interact with others with more and more self-assurance. Since Krav Maga maintains that students act aggressively only when attacked, individuals become more thoughtful and less reactive. It is the philosophy of Krav Maga to develop good character as well as good fighters.
The physical work and dedication that Krav Maga training demands means that students who train regularly develop greater coordination, balance, strength and stamina, resulting in a higher level of physical fitness. What counts is the dedication that students have to their training; each individual progresses from his or her own starting point. Students are amazed at the physical and mental changes that occur as a result of Krav Maga training.